Written by RMI’s MD, Ken Kemp.
It’s not easy developing people. It’s even more difficult if you have to run a desk yourself as well or have other key tasks other than simply managing a team. So what can you do? The first place to start is put yourself in their shoes.. What would they want from you? The five stages or pointers in this process are as follows:
- Let me know what is expected of me
- Give me an opportunity to perform
- Let me know how I am getting on
- Give me guidance when I need it
- Recognise and reward my contribution
Now let us look at each point in turn and the methods available to help the manager in that process.
- Let me know what is expected of me deals with clarifying objectives and priorities, agreeing performance standards and, if applicable, detailing performance improvement plans.
- Give me opportunity to perform covers things such as organisational planning, defining authority levels and the resources available.
- Let me know how I am getting on. The manager should in this process provide information on the progress made, ongoing informal reviews and, of course, formal performance reviews. Also, he should supply company and team information that backs up the observations made.
- Give me guidance when I need it entails coaching, counselling and training. Remember though – when coaching, avoid giving opinions, offering assistance and sympathising as these are not part of effective coaching.
- Recognising and rewarding contribution. We should complete a review of individual potential; we should detail succession planning; of course, we should have a salary structure defined and we should have development plans in place. We should always give positive reinforcement and pats on the back where applicable and always say ‘thanks’ when appropriate.
Whatever the occasion or the environment, only a consistency of style and openness will promote development and encourage discussion. Too often, the opportunities to give and receive feedback are lost through poor preparation, lack of consideration and an uncertainty about the desired result. Clarity and consistency of thought and purpose are essential to develop an atmosphere of respect and willingness to listen and learn. Use the five stages in this model to open up all of your personnel feedback sessions and to enable your teams’ viewpoints to be identified and noted.